HIGHER POWER ‘LOOKS GOOD’ IN CLASSIC WORK
BELLAFINA BREEZES FOR FILLY & MARE SPRINT
AMERICAN THEOREM TO MISS THE BC JUVENILE
OLIVER IN ‘GOOD ZONE’ FOR COMMA TO THE TOP
SADLER PLEASED WITH HIGHER POWER’S CLASSIC DRILL
Trainer John Sadler, seeking his second consecutive victory in the $6 million Breeders’
Cup Classic this Saturday, worked Higher Power towards that goal at 6:30 this morning, sending the Pacific Classic winner six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.60 under Flavien Prat.
“I had him in (one) 12 and two, which is a good work for six furlongs on this track,” said Sadler, who sent out Accelerate to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year at Churchill Downs. “I had him out (seven furlongs) in (one) 26. He looked good.”
Sadler also supervised Breeders’ Cup works this morning for Ollie’s Candy ($2 million Longines Distaff, four furlongs in 47 flat, and Selcourt (Filly & Mare Sprint, five furlongs in a bullet 59.60, fastest of 39 drills at the distance).
BELLAFINA WORKS, ‘READY’ FOR FILLY & MARE SPRINT
Santa Anita Oaks winner Bellafina had her final major prep for Saturday’s $1 million Filly
& Mare Sprint this morning at 6:30, working four furlongs in 48.20 under exercise rider Ivan de Silva for Simon Callaghan.
“It was what we expected,” the trainer said. “She’s fit and ready.”
Addressing yesterday’s five furlong bullet work in 1:00.60 by Donna Veloce for the Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles, Callaghan said, “I was really happy.”
A handy 9 ¼-length winner of her only start, at 6 ½ furlongs against five rivals, the bay daughter of Uncle Mo owned by Kaleem Shah seemingly faces a more daunting task against seasoned challengers with route experience in the Juvenile Fillies
“She’s had only one run, but we just hope her talent can help pull her through,” Callaghan said. “It’s definitely a tough ask going from 6 ½ to a mile and a sixteenth Grade I Breeders’ Cup.
“We know that, but we’re optimistic she can do it.”
IN OTHER BREEDERS’ CUP NEWS:
Also on Saturday’s work tab for the Breeders’ Cup were Eddie Haskell (Turf Sprint, four furlongs in 47 flat for Mark Glatt); Shancelot (Sprint, four furlongs in a bullet 46.40, fastest of 69 drills at the distance for Jorge Navarro); Stubbins (Turf Sprint, four furlongs in 49.20 for Doug O’Neill); and Acclimate (Turf, five furlongs in 1:01.20 for Phil D’Amato.
Also: Bolo (Mile, five furlongs in 1:02.40 for Carla Gaines); Draft Pick (Classic, five furlongs in 1:00.80 for Peter Eurton), Giant Expectations (Dirt Mile, five furlongs in 1:01 for Eurton); Secret Spice (Distaff, five furlongs in 1:01 for Richard Baltas); Seeking the Soul (Classic, five furlongs in 1:01.40 for Dallas Stewart; and on the training track, Bowies Hero (Mile, four furlongs in 49.60 for D’Amato) and Hit the Road (Juvenile Turf, four furlongs in 49.80 for Dan Blacker).
Bob Baffert plans to work Juvenile contender Eight Rings at 7:45 a.m. Sunday and Dirt Mile contender Improbable an hour earlier, with Classic favorite McKinzie breezing on Monday.
AMERICAN THEOREM TO SKIP JUVENILE, OPTS FOR DERBY TRAIL
American Theorem, second to Eight Rings in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27, will not run in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Friday, trainer George Papaprodromou said this morning.
“I just feel he’s not 100 percent ready,” said Papaprodromou, who conditions the son of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah for owner Rustin Kretz. “If he’s not 100 percent for a race like this against the best horses in the world, we have to do what’s right by the horse.
“He’s doing well, everything’s good, but he’s not 100 percent ready so we’re going to pass. There’s no sense pushing something we shouldn’t. We’ll wait and put him on the trail to the Kentucky Derby.”
OLIVER SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT IN COMMA TO THE TOP
Doug O’Neill hopes he has a hit on his hands in Oliver when the streaking son of Papa Clem runs in Sunday’s $75,000 added Comma To The Top Stakes for three-year-olds and up at a mile on the main track.
Owned by William Peeples, Oliver has won two straight, including the restricted E. B. Johnston Stakes over a mile at Los Alamitos last out on Sept. 7.
“It seems like he’s in a good zone,” said the meet’s runaway leading trainer with 19 victories through 17 days, eight more than runner-up Phil D’Amato.
“We’re real happy and excited about him. It’s a small field but a tough field.”
The Comma To The Top is race seven of eight with a 12:30 p.m. first post time: Oliver, Martin Garcia, 7-2; Midcourt, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Leading Score, Flavien Prat, 9-5; Ground Attack, Edwin Maldonado, 5-1; and Two Thirty Five, Abel Cedillo, 2-1.
XPRESSBET FIRST CALL
Xpressbet First Call is a weekly handicapping and analysis podcast focused on the top Thoroughbred racetracks in America. It features industry veterans Jeff Siegel as the lead handicapper and host Jeremy Plonk. To listen to this weekly podcast please visit: https://www.spreaker.com/show/xpressbet-first-call.
FINISH LINES: Jeff Bloom, founder of Bloom Racing Stable, part owner of Horse of the Year contender and Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff favorite Midnight Bisou and a newly appointed board member of the TOC, will be Tom Quigley‘s guest Sunday, 11:20 a.m., in the XBTV studio . . . Fans can support a worthwhile cause during Bash at the Breeders’ Cup, a fundraiser for Thoroughbred aftercare this Friday, Nov. 1. Join Breeders’ Cup at The Langham in Pasadena for one of a kind memorabilia. All proceeds benefit Thoroughbred Charities of America. For tickets, please visit breederscup.com.